Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) troopers seized 99,790.3 grams – 220 pounds – of cocaine at a traffic stop in Central Ohio, which is enough to kill 15,352 people. According to The Recovery Village, a lethal dose of cocaine is about 6.5 grams.
Madison County troopers seized the lethal drugs during a traffic stop involving a vehicle following another too closely on Interstate 70. The OSHP says that when they stopped the U-Haul truck, which had Arizona registration, they observed “criminal indicators” and a drug-sniffing K9 detected possible contraband, which warranted a probable-cause search of the vehicle
Inside the U-Haul, troopers found and immediately seized the cocaine, which the OSHP estimated is worth $9 million. This equated to 100 bricks of cocaine – enough to cover the hood of an OSHP cruiser.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. Although healthcare providers can use it for valid medical purposes, such as local anesthesia for some surgeries, recreational cocaine use is illegal. NIH statistics show drug overdose deaths involving cocaine rose steadily from 5,419 overdose deaths in 2014 to 19,447 overdose deaths in 2020.
The American Addiction Centers states that in 2011, over 500,000 Americans sought medical attention in an emergency department (ED) for an adverse reaction to the misuse or use of cocaine, and this accounts for more than 40 percent of all ED visits involving illicit drug use or misuse. Cocaine addiction rates are high; 855,000 adults over the age of 11 in the United States were considered to have a cocaine dependence in 2013.
“Ohio is using every resource and partner available to fight the war against illegal narcotics – the drugs that are crippling our communities and killing our loved ones,” OSHP said in a statement.
The OSHP identified the driver as 25-year-old Sebastian Flores from Mexicali, Mexico. Law enforcement charged him with possession of cocaine, a first-degree felony, and took him to the Tri-County Jail, per OSHP. If convicted he could face up to 11 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.
“By stopping drugs from being on our roadways, we are making an impact in our communities,” OSHP said.
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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Troopers Stopped a U-Haul Truck in Arizona, Found 220 Pounds of Cocaine” by Ohio State Highway Patrol.